In 2021, ICAO, in cooperation with the Air Crash Victims’ Families’ Federation International (ACVFFI), established 20 February as the International Day Commemorating Air Crash Victims and their Families.
Respect for victims of civil aviation accidents, and the mental, physical, and spiritual well-being of their families, are of paramount importance. With the help of the insights and appeals of the ACVFFI’s committed representatives, the ICAO is mindful of the importance of providing proper assistance to victims’ families.
“Throughout the past several years, ICAO has undertaken numerous initiatives to ensure that victim family assistance matters are adequately addressed. Aviation safety is something which everyone in this sector is very proud of, and the result of an incredible team effort between States and industry, but this same cooperation must now also be directed toward ensuring that the rights of accident victims and their families are assured in the aftermath of these very rare but also very tragic events.”ICAO Secretary General, Mr. Juan Carlos Salazar
During the 40th Session of the ICAO General Assembly, ACVFFI presented a Working Paper 500 requesting the establishment of an international day of remembrance for victims of air accidents and their families.
The ACVFFI believed that the establishment of such a day would contribute to a greater awareness on the part of Member States and international organizations of the consequences for passengers who suffer an air accident, a situation in which no one who boards an aircraft is exempt from suffering. The Assembly approved the document.
Almost two years later, during the informal meeting of the ICAO Council and the ACVFFI, Ms. Vera recalled that Working Paper 500 had been approved and again requested that February 20 be established as this day. Her proposal was well received and ICAO finally issued a press release on February 17, 2022, announcing the establishment of February 20 as the International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Accidents and their Families.